WinPE PreBoot Support (Version 1.4.14)


Overview

WinPE PreBoot Support is the next step within Empirum OS Installer. It now allows all customers to create their own – Powershell based – packages and using their own tools – pretty similar as creating and using software packages on Windows. Having this flexibility, it gives you more options to realize full featured OS provisioning (e.g. including BIOS settings or updates using vendor specific tools).
The base version of Empirum is v17.0 Update 2. The download extends and updates the existing functionality. Please see the change history below.

Changes

  • 2019-02-20: Update to 1.4.14
    Changes in this release:
    • DriverIntegration 2.7 is ready for multiple OS type support (requires Empirum v19)
    • Matrix42 WinPE Driver Assistant is ready for multiple OS type support (requires Empirum v19)
    • WindowsInstallation 4.8 package supports the Windows Server versions 2019 and 2016 (requires Empirum v19)
    • Bugfixes:
      • PRB32592: DiskPartitioning 3.8: System partition size is set to 0 so skip partition creation
      • PRB32517: Error "The requested access path is already in use" at creating system partition
      • PRB32593: Agent installation via WinPE fails on SurfaceGO
      • PRB32634: CreatePXEWinPEMultiPlatform.ps1? is not digitally signed
  • 2019-01-22: Update to 1.4.13
    Changes in this release:
    • WindowsInstallation 4.7: Moved AutoLogon reset from unattend xml to EmpirumPEAgent batch file.
    • WindowsInstallation 4.7: Added variable WindowsInstallation.UnattendXmlFile to specify a different unattend.xml file template.
    • Improved log information about devices that requires drivers to have a better insight for trouble shooting.
    • EmpirumAgentSetup 1.7: Fixed bug 'PRB32338: WINPE EmpirumAgentSetup 1.6 Install Failure'
      Bugfixes:
    • DiskPartitioning 3.9: ClearAllDisk option also deletes USB sticks
  • 2018-12-06: Update to 1.4.11
    Changes in this release
    • New Splashscreen during WinPE Phase (needed for ADK 1809)
    • WindowsInstallation 4.5 specifies the package variable 'WindowsInstallation.ProductKey' to use for Windows activation.
    • DriverIntegration 2.6 does not abort if device model is missing in the Drivers.ini.
    • DiskImageDeploy 1.3 package supports fast drives (NVMe/SSD) as prefered target for the os deployment.
    • Able to activate other software packages during an OS installation so that the Service Store Connector, i.e. filter actions, can continue to be used (in combination with Empirum v18.0 Update 3)
    • Matrix42 PreOS Package Editor 1.5 creates complete EmpirumPackageData.xml to fill all database columns.
    • Bug Fixes:
      • PRB32141: WindowsInstallation 4.6 package increases the number of AutoLogons to ensure the execution of neccessary installation steps.
  • 2018-11-15: Update to 1.4.10
    Changes in this release
    • In the SwDepotLog in the EMC, the name of the client is capitalized both for the log entries from the WinPE phase and for those from the Windows phase.
    • New PowerShell script to create bootable WinPE based USB flash memory drive stick has been created, so that a WinPE based deployment can be carried out in problematic environments (in terms of PXE). The script is not released with WinPE Support package - it has to requested via Support if required.
    • DiskImageDeploy sets default display language in combination with LanguagePacksInstallation.
    • EmpirumAgentSetup 1.5 enhanced log output at setup.exe error.
    • PE agents use the settings of the Transport node instead of the Transport_OS in the Agent Template xml.
    • Computer names or domain names with spaces in DeviceMapping XML can be handled by PE Agent now.
    • WindowsInstallation 4.4 updates windows boot loader menu in case of deployment that has been initialized via a USB flash memory drive
    • HardwareInfo 2.4 creates debug_drivers.client.domain.ini file in the Mac8 or UUID remote log folder.
    • Bug Fixes:
      • EmpirumAgentSetup Package doesn't abort with error if setup.exe call returns error code.
      • Dell Latitude 5491 driver installation does not work.
  • 2018-10-12: Update to 1.4.9
    Changes in this release:
    • LanguagePacksInstallation 1.1 package displays the installed language packs in the PXE log.
    • LanguagePacksInstallation 1.1 sets display language, which was configured in WindowsInstallation.UILanguage
    • WindowsInstallation 4.3 uses default international setting in the windowsPE configuration pass.
    • WindowsInstallation 4.3 creates a globalization unattend xml, which is later used by LanguagePacksInstallation to setup display language
    • WindowsInstallation 4.3 package supports fast drives (NVMe/SSD) as prefered target for the os deployment.
    • DiskPartitioning 3.6 package supports fast drives (NVMe/SSD) as prefered target for the os deployment.
    • DriverIntegration 2.5 package supports DiskImaging
    • Enable Secure Boot-specific cmdlets.
    • New package DiskImageCreate 1.1 (to create VHD images) has been added to WinPE Support release package
    • New package DiskImageDeploy 1.1 (to deploy VHD images) has been added to WinPE Support release package
    • Added visual indication that PreOS execution is running on windows.
    • EmpirumAgentSetup 1.4 copies Empirum Agent to client first before the setup is executed localy
    • Bug Fixes:
      • EmpirumAgentSetup deletes AGENT registry key after Empirum Agent installation
  • 2018-09-20: Update to 1.4.8
    Changes in this release:
    • WindowsInstallation 4.1 and SimpleOsDeployment 3.7 packages support OS images in ESD (Electronic Software Download) format.
    • WindowsInstallation 4.2 package adds the Matrix42 certificate to the Trusted Publisher store.
    • Created new PreOS package LanguagePacksInstallation 1.0 (allows to install language packs for Windows 10 with Empirum 18.0.2)
    • Increased stability while access of DeviceMapping XML file
    • EmpirumAgentSetup 1.2 Install.ps1 script is digitally signed
    • DomainJoin 1.1 has improved error messages: SWDepot log entry should show system or WMI error code
    • Bug Fixes:
      • PRB31462: [WinPE] - Install.esd will not be used for installation in case of hardcoded Install.wim entry in install.ps1
      • EmpirumAgentSetup stops as wrong Setup-EXE is selected related to architecture of the client system
      • PRB31727: [WinPE] - Two Network Adapters with same MAC Address causes misbehaviour in Devicemapping
  • 2018-08-15: Update to 1.4.6
    Changes in this release:
    • Bug Fix PRB31494: Access to the path '\..Configurator$ValuesDeviceMapping.xmltmp' is denied
  • 2018-08-01: Update to 1.4.5
    Please note:
    To make the installation process more flexible, the existing Windows installation package has been replaced by a new version. This package additionally requires separate packages for deactivating the PXE, the domain join and the agent installation. You now have the choice whether you want to install the Advanced or UEM agent.
    Important: The previous Windows installation packages are not compatible with the new packages. See the How-To documentation for details.

    Features and changes in this release:

    • WindowsInstallation 3.6 has been deprecated and removed from Release package
    • New WindowsInstallation 4.0 has been added to Release package
    • WindowsInstallation 4.0 replaces WindowsInstallation 3.x now and has other dependencies
    • WindowsInstallation 4.0 requires PxeOffAndReboot, DomainJoin and EmpirumAgentSetup packages
    • New DomainJoin 1.0 and EmpirumAgentSetup 1.0 packages have been added
  • 2018-07-19: Update to 1.4.4
    • New CMDLet "Join-DomainOrWorkgroup" allows to join a domain with an encrypted password (no plain text password is required anymore)
    • Bugfixes:
      • DiskPartitioning 3.4 - Status "successful" also occurs, although no access to the hard disk exists
      • Backward compatibility when using WinPE in 17.0.2 in combination with EPE is now guaranteed (log files are now always stored in the so-called MAC8 folder)
      • PRB31281: WinPE PreOS Package BIOS - Read error at exit code causes missing reboot
  • 2018-06-14: Update to 1.4.2
    • Updated PreOS Package Editor to version 1.3 - additional files can be added to PreOS Packages
    • Update package is now of type self-extracting executable to avoid any kind of issues with "blocked files" (which is caused by extracting a zip file with Windows integrated tools)
  • 2018-05-29: Update to 1.4.1
    • SimpleOsDeployment 3.5 and WindowsInstallation 3.5 use a variable 'OS_RegionalSettings.TimeZone' to set the Windows time zone. If the variable does not exist, the default time zone 'W. Europe Standard Time' is set.
    • Bug fixes:
      • PRB31080: [WINPE Import] Unable to import WinPE if WADK is not installed to its default location.
      • PRB31085: [WinPE - Variables] TimeZone Settings by Variable or by Script
      • PRB31088: Problem of WinPE File parser when reading swdepot.dds
  • 2018-05-18: Update to 1.4.0
    • PE Agent can reboot the system when running in Windows
    • DiskPartitioning 3.3 uses all available disk space if relative size is used.
    • Added new PreOS package PxeOffAndReboot version 1.0
    • Send-EmpirumMessage cmdlet has been extended by the SwitchParameter 'TurnOffPxeActivation' and can be used to turn off PXE activation on a computer.
    • PE Agent's behaviour if the final PXE off message will be sent or not can be controlled while runtime using the Set-EmpirumAgetSetting cmdlet.
    • Set-EmpirumAgentSetting cmdlet has been extended with parameter 'FinalPxeOff', which can be used to disable or enable (default) final PXE off message,
      which is sent by PE Agent after all PreOS packages have been executed.
    • Get-EmpirumAgentSetting cmdlet has been extended with parameter 'EnableFinalPxeOff', which can be used to get the state if final PXE off message will
      be sent or not.
    • Connection status code and message are written to log when PE Agent tries to connect to Empirum server. And in case of authentication issues there will be no retries (to prevent account lockouts)
    • Updated PreOS Package Editor to version 1.2 - showing additional files
    • Bug fixes:
      • PRB30964: WinPE - Password BUG / Problems with using some special characters
      • PRB31066: Networkcard is not initialized at DHCP Option Request
  • 2018-04-19: Update to 1.3.8
    • OS Package Editor 1.1 is added as importable software package and fixed the following issue
      • Special characters from decription field are encoded correctly within Install.ps1 when creating a new package
    • OS packages are physically removed when they are deleted in EMC
    • Get-EmpirumAgentSetting can be used to retrieve value for PowerShellTimeoutInSeconds setting
    • DeviceMapping file will be renewed if necessary
    • Non unique client entries (UUIDs or MACs) are handled now correctly
  • 2018-04-06: Update to 1.3.6
    • Added new package "BiosUpdateTemplate version 1.0" (Package serves as a template and has one implementation for a Dell device)
    • Increased default timeout for PowerShell script execution to 3600 seconds (for slow computers)
    • Added app setting PowerShellTimeoutInSeconds to PE Agent dll config for custom timeout configuration.
    • Support for UUID when sending PXE messages
    • UUID remote log folder is created if a remote log folder is not present and a MAC8 folder can not be created
    • Package Updates
      • SimpleOsDeployment to version 3.3
      • WindowsInstallation to version 3.3
      • HardwareInfo to version 2.2
      • DriverIntegration to version 2.3 (now supports folders, too)
    • Added new Matrix42 PreOS Package Editor software package (can be found at EmpirumConfiguratorPackagesMatrix42PreOS Package Editor)
  • 2018-03-01: Update to 1.3.3
    • PreOS packages are stored now under Configurator$PackageStorePreOsPackages
    • Bugfixes
      • Excecution of PreOS packages and copying log to server fail when client respectively device mapping xml doesn't contain SMBIOS UUID but only mac address
      • If only one Dhcp option is set, the value will not be read out
      • As UAF has changed path for its log PeAgent couldn't copy it to server
  • 2018-02-14: Update to 1.3.0
    • Added DHCP options support for multi depot support
    • Optimization at WinPE boot image creation. Reusing boot.wim files with same content.
    • Added new PreOS package DebugPackage 1.0
    • Updated HardwareInfo package to 2.1 - Output of manufacturer and model information
    • PXE Off messages are sent also with the MAC address from Device Mapping XML now:
      • PXE Off is sent with the same MAC address as used while PXE boot / client activation
      • Works independent from MAC Pass Through or USB-to-ethernet adapters
      • Requires SMBios GUIDs to be present, which are used to map to related MAC addresses
    • Packages SimpleOsDeployment 3.2 and WindowsInstallation 3.2 read logon information from Depot settings
    • Packages Diskpartitioning 3.1 and SimpleOsDeployment 3.2 send a PXE log message to reset statuses of all previously installed software packages.
    • Bugfixes:
      • PRB158127: Fixed PEAgent behaviour if the DDC entries have too many columns (e.g. software packages with revoke values)
      • PRB158131: Fixed BTQH Queue behaviour if an exception is thrown at executing powershell script (e.g. because of missing disk space)
      • Cortana is silent during Windows installation (SimpleOSDeployment 3.2 and windowsInstallation 3.2).
  • 2018-01-04: Update to 1.2.3
    • Added support for Domain Join with an specific OU
  • 2017-12-14: Part of Empirum 17.0 Update 2
    • PreBoot packages for WinPE based OS installations can now be imported directly from the console.
    • The target platform can be selected in the WinPE boot configuration. x64 or x86 as well as UEFI and BIOS. Depending on the selection, separate WinPE Boot WIM files are created for BIOS and UEFI.
    • New PreBoot installation and configuration packages.
      • Multi-platform support
      • Advanced partitioning capabilities
      • Improved driver support
    • Significantly improved download time for WinPE network boot
  • 2017-10-20: Update to 1.1.2
    • Updated WindowsInstallation package to version 1.1 - improved Advanced Agent installation
    • Updated DriverIntegration package to version 2.0 - driver archive input via variables.
    • Matrix42 OS Deployment with WinPE - HowTo documentation DE/EN.
  • 2017-10-13: Update to 1.1.1
    • New PreOS package WindowsInstallation 1.0
    • Renamed packages DriverIntegration 1.0 and DiskPartitioning 1.0
    • DriverIntegration package relies on DiskPartitioning package for the partitioning functionality
    • Bug fixes:
      - Abort creation of a WinPE boot image if user temp directory path is too long
      - Fixed reported status for successfully installed packages
      - Import variables of type Dropdown, Checkbox, Combobox and Extended Dropdown
      - Fixed unnecessary rewrite of the computer ini files upon package import
  • 2017-10-05: Update for v17.0 Update 1 (1.0.14)
    • Packages Update
    • OS Agent now supports installation sequence
    • Windows PE show an improved UI

Known Issues and limitations

  • Creation of a PXE Boot image requires latest Windows Admistration and Deployment Kit (WADK) installed on the master server (where the backend task queue service runs on)
  • OS Agent supports SMB protocol only based on the server settings of the agent template

Prerequisites

Updates are supported from the following version:

  • Matrix42 Empirum v17.0 Update 2 incl. current Hotfix Installer or later
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 on the Empirum Master Server.

Documentation

The documention for support Windows PE within Empirum is currently available in English and German and can be downloaded via the download button (switch to the desired display language to get a differnt language version of the PDF)